How Can Your Father’s Absent Love Affect Your Future Relationships?

My loving Father and I. This was taken my sophomore year

of college at my sister’s debutante ball.


There are so many people who feel like their father’s love is missing from their lives.


Sometimes, it’s the parent’s fault. Other times, the parent tried their best, but the child still felt neglected. For me, it was the latter.


I grew up in a two-parent married household. Each of my parents worked extremely hard for my little sister and I. They loved us tremendously.


Still, being the ungrateful daughter that I was, I became very rebellious, irate, and resentful towards my parents, especially my father. Unable to recognize the love he was giving me, I spent many of my teen years lashing out at him, never truly finding the strength to forgive myself until my early twenties.


Although my father didn’t deserve that treatment, reminiscing on my past reactions has helped me to understand why my past relationships were always such a mess.

Being the lonely, insecure woman that I was, I settled so much. There was an absence of love that I felt from my father. Instead of seeking that love in God, I searched for it in relationships, men, and sex.


So, why am I telling you this?


Because I believe I’m not alone. I know that there are many young women and men out there who feel neglected or abused by their fathers. Please note, I am not saying that my father did either. But, if your present is like my past, then your relationships have always mirrored the love you feel you missed out on.

A child will always base their understanding of love according to the treatment their parent(s) give them. If that child doesn’t get the love they feel they deserve, they will naturally yearn to find it other places as they get older. Often times, this yearning becomes the fuel to have relationships, sex, and feel loved.


Here’s the problem with that:


If you are like me, not forgiving the wounds from your past, then you won’t be looking for a relationship for the right reasons. Your heart won’t be healed, so you’ll naturally settle for what you desire, instead of what you truly deserve. One relationship after the other, it will always seem as if something goes wrong or things just don’t work out.


You know why?

It’s because you are searching for healing in relationships. But, God is the only one who can close those empty voids.


Even though my past relationships were terrible, my current relationship is completely different. It’s an abstinent Godly relationship that I’ve had for about eight months now. One of the main reasons that the relationship is so different than my others is because I found healing in God.


Once I learned to become whole through the Lord, I was no longer looking for a relationship to replace what I felt I missed out on with my father. Instead, I was letting God do the searching for me. I became content with myself and let Him lead the way. God would have never opened the door for this relationship if I hadn’t learned to first forgive myself.


If you have a burden on your heart from your father, you have to let that go. You have to forgive. Otherwise, your relationships and marriage will always be a reflection of a healing that still needs to take place. Don’t be so quick to say, “Oh I know I’ve forgiven that man.” People hear words, but God knows the heart. Even if you think you’ve forgiven, go to God in prayer and ask Him. If you’re sure, then there’s no hurt in at least approaching Him with the question.


This blog can apply to either someone’s father or mother. It doesn’t matter the mistake or the level of neglect. If Jesus can lie on a wooden cross and still ask His Father to forgive those who nailed Him, then you can do the same for your parent. If you don’t, the only one you will truly hurt is yourself. You don’t have to do it by yourself, and you don’t have to expect the hurt to leave overnight. Ask God for help, be patient, and let Him lead the way.

My book I Believe in God, Now What? reveals my past battles with alcohol abuse, weed addiction, and rape in an effort to help others find forgiveness, love, and healing in Christ. Read more about the book here.

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4 Responses

  1. Pingback : Can God Replace Your Daddy? | JordoneWrites – "Writing About My Past to Inspire Your Future"

  2. Margorie Anderson

    I ran across a post I believe a Facebook friend reposted and I just had to subscribe to your weekly emails. Being in a place where I’m now taking my walk seriously with Christ your posts really help me. So many times I felt as if I was alone, like if I expressed myself people would look at me crazy however reading your posts helps me to see that I’m not alone in this thing. I’ve looked for love in all the wrong places and ended up damaging myself in the process. Your posts encourages me and helps me to see that there really is a light at the end of my tunnel. I thank you for finding it not robbery to share your journey in redemption, learning to forgive yourself and most importantly what it means to truly trust God.

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